Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park attracting visitors with £500m redevelopment (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park attracting visitors with £500m redevelopment
Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is inviting east London residents to enjoy its £500 million redevelopment with a range of new facilities and events.
The Park is already allowing residents full access to state-of-the-art gym equipment, multi-use sports facilities and a host of autumn and winter events.
By July 2014 all Park facilities will be in use including the Aquatics Centre, Lee Valley Velopark and the ArcelorMittal Orbit viewing platform which will allow visitors panoramic views of the stadium and beyond.
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “East London residents are going to be the first to experience the redevelopment.
“Visitors can now experience the Copper Box Arena, organise a game of badminton with their friends, take a stroll along the green or come and see a concert.
The Copper Box Arena, home to the London Lions basketball team, is currently open, with visitors being able to book classes, see a sports game or watch a concert in the 7,500 capacity hall.
“The beautiful parklands, Timber Lodge Community Centre and Tumbling Bay playground are already becoming firm favourites and with a great line up of events for the coming months crowds are set to continue to flock to the Park,” said Mr Hone.
The Park’s autumn events are already under way with this weekend’s folk musical barge and hip-hop maypole dancing taking centre stage.
October 6 will have an African music theme, with drum workshops and processions, while Halloween and Diawali will be seen in with light shows and craft workshops for children.
Mel Wilds from event organisers Continental Drifts, said: “We are really excited by the upcoming series of events in the Park. East London is such a vibrant area and the events programme is a great opportunity to celebrate the culture and communities around the Park.”
London Legacy Development Corporation is aiming to attract a variety of residents to move to the area.
The 2012 Athlete’s Village has already been transformed into the East Village, due to open in two weeks, which includes 2,818 new homes, a school, cafes and bars and 27 acres of parkland with families in mind as well as young professionals.
Local businesses are also being encouraged to take up residence as well as household names, increasing job prospects in the area more than ever before.
Mr Hone is currently pressing for Eurostar trains to stop at Stratford International, allowing residents a chance to travel to the continent from two central London locations, including St. Pancras International.
“The majority of residents have been extremely supportive of the redevelopment from its early days.
“The benefit of our local community is extremely important to us. For example, the Aquatics Centre will be the same price for a swim as any local swimming pool across London, even though it was a world-famous Olympic venue.
“The area is fast becoming a place where people are going to work, live and play. When the Park fully opens in spring next year, it really will be a must visit destination and a lasting legacy in east London,” said Mr Hone.